Shanghai, China Report of what it's like to live there - 07/08/10

Personal Experiences from Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China 07/08/10

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Yes.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Home base is New Delhi, India.

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3. How long have you lived here?

2004-2007.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Corporate- my husband's job.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing facilities are good. There is lots to choose from. Commuting is easy with metro trains, also taxis.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Everything is available. All supermarkets have an imported section. Prices might be a bit higher.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Thousands of them, ranging from roadside to 5-star. Pick what you like.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Available through agencies. Cost varies.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, many.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Not to worry. You can conveniently use ATMs and bank debit cards for all purchases.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes. but few.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

There are a few paid English TV channels.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Basic conversation is a must.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, all are very easy to commute with, and are affordable.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Do not bring one. It is difficult to get a driving licence, and driving is not very safe here.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Available at a reasonable price.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Yes.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Yes.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Fashionable, trendy.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

International hospitals are available but very costly.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Polluted.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Mostly cold.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

1. http://www.ycis-sh.com/ Yew hung international school of Shanghai - preferred by many Indians, because of IB pattern of study, proximity to the central Puxi area of HongQiao.

2.http://www.bisshanghai.com/index. Personally I feel it is best. My son went there. It has a great campus and good teaching.

3. Concordial International school.....similar to the British.

4.Singapore International School - preferred by Indians because of its similar curriculum, and for families who have to go back, it is easier for children to adjust. Personally, I feel it doesn't solve the purpose of giving the child an international exposure.

5.www.saschina.org Shanghai American school. Very Good. You can browse more.....http://www.shanghaifinder.com/schools.html

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, great facilities.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Big.

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2. Morale among expats:

Good.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Very good.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

It is good for all people.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

It should be fine. Shanghai is very cosmopolitan.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

No.

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Touring, culture learning, international schooling for my child, exposure to various new ways of working, new views on how to do business.

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Lots of things to do, activities, games, clubs, nightlife.

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Learning about Chinese culture, the mysterious country, touring is great.

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11. Can you save money?

Yes. Yes.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

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3. But don't forget your:

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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6. Do you have any other comments?

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